Pieces of News

January 2021

Sarah Gilbreath Ford gave a lecture entitled "Eudora Welty's Vision" to the American Women Writers National Museum on January 13th. See here for the youtube link to the video.

April 2020

2020 Eudora Welty Fellow Awarded

Margaret Pless, a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi, has been named the 2020 Eudora Welty Fellow. Pless will use archival holdings at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to research how Eudora Welty constructed her identity in her writing.

“I want to understand how craft, for Welty, intersected with actual memory,” said Pless. “I am especially interested in using the archives to explore Welty's relationship with her mother, a relationship characterized in One Writer's Beginnings by secrecy. I want to understand how such secrecy shapes an understanding of self, especially in a figure as public as a writer.”

Established by MDAH and the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research of the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students.

“We're grateful to the Foundation for their continuing support and excited that Margaret Pless will make extensive use of the Welty Collection this summer,” said David Pilcher, director of the MDAH Archives and Record Services Division.

After receiving her BA in English and history from Vanderbilt University, Pless completed her MA in English at the University of Mississippi where she is currently working towards her PhD. Pless will use the $2,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.

For more information on the Eudora Welty Fellowship, see the Mississippi Department of Archives & History


June 24, 2019

The University Press of Mississippi has a new series, Critical Perspectives on Eudora Welty, edited by Harriet Pollack. The series seeks to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Eudora Welty through scholarship and to explore new issues in Welty studies. These fresh approaches will reinforce the continued relevancy of Welty's work to such contemporary topics as popular culture; social justice; and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. The series, composed of both monographs and edited collections, will serve as a worthy commemoration to and celebration of one of the South's greatest treasures. The inaugural volume in the series, New Essays on Eudora Welty, Class, and Race, explores Welty's artistic commentary on her time and place and the way it unfolded as the United States became more socially aware. Future volumes in the series will address Welty's engagement with the mystery genre and Welty's multimedia influences. As the leading publisher in Welty studies, University Press of Mississippi is pleased to enrich discussion of Welty's oeuvre by providing framework and guidance for her readership in years to come.

May 31, 2019

Congratulations to Christin Marie Taylor, whose beautiful book Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South (UPM) is now out.  One fourth of the book is on Eudora Welty.

A fresh consideration of the impact of black radicalism on black characters in southern modernism

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the Popular Front produced a significant era in African American literary radicalism. While scholars have long associated the black radicalism of the Popular Front with the literary left and the working class, Christin Marie Taylor considers how black radicalism influenced southern fiction about black workers, offering a new view of work and labor.

At the height of the New Deal era and its legacies, Taylor examines how southern literature of the Popular Front not only addressed the familiar stakes of race and labor but also called upon an imagined black folk to explore questions of feeling and desire. By poring over tropes of black workers across genres of southern literature in the works of George Wylie Henderson, William Attaway, Eudora Welty, and Sarah Elizabeth Wright, Taylor reveals the broad reach of black radicalism into experiments with portraying human feelings.

These writers grounded interrelationships and stoked emotions to present the social issues of their times in deeply human terms. Taylor emphasizes the multidimensional use of the sensual and the sexual, which many protest writers of the period, such as Richard Wright, avoided. She suggests Henderson and company used feeling to touch readers while also questioning and reimagining the political contexts and apparent victories of their times. In effect, these writers, some who are not considered a part of an African American protest tradition, illuminated an alternative form of protest through poignant paradigms.

CHRISTIN MARIE TAYLOR is assistant professor of English at Shenandoah University. Taylor's work has appeared in Southern Quarterly, Southern Cultures, American Literature in Transition: 1960-1970, and the Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature as well as Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-First-Century Approaches, published by University Press of Mississippi.

176 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 4 b&W illustrations

October 9, 2018

Richard Ford will deliver the third annual Eudora Welty lecture at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. on Thursday, October 9th at 7:30 p.m. He is the co-editor with Michael Kreyling of the two volumes of Welty’s complete works for the Library of America series.

August 5, 2018

Dr. Katy Simpson Smith, novelist and historian, will be the first to hold the newly created Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College: Eudora Welty Chair

July 18, 2018

Eds. Jacob Agner and Harriet Pollack
Edited Collection CFP

It’s no secret that southern author Eudora Welty was an adamant believer in mystery. In so many of her fictions and photographs, Welty’s genius relies heavily on the puzzling detail, the withholding plot, the cryptic conclusion, and the opaque mystery at the heart of her characters’ motivations. It is less known, however, how often in these puzzling stories Welty engages with the mystery genre. A prolific reader and moviegoer, Welty was an enthusiastic fan of crime and detective fiction, and consequently, from her Depression-era collection A Curtain of Green (1941) through her Civil Rights stories (1960s) and late-life manuscripts, many of her fictions in unexpected ways touch the topics of murder, mystery, and mayhem, of criminal psychology, detective work, policing, and/or justice. Not coincidentally, the most productive period of Welty’s career (approximately from 1941 to 1955) coincides with the “classic” film noir phase in Hollywood cinema. Then in her late life, Welty shared a literary relationship and epistolary intimacy with crime writer Ross Macdonald (aka Kenneth Millar). Yet the full mystery of Eudora Welty’s genre work is still something to be uncovered.

This collection aims to follow the clues in Eudora Welty’s fiction, photography, juvenilia, non-fiction, correspondence, and biography to discover the ways in which Weltyworked within, against, and beyond mystery and detective fiction. How do Eudora Welty’s signature talents as a southern modernist, a woman writer, a comedic eye, and an innovative genre revisionist take on the American crime genre?

This CFP invites essays on the following topics (and more). Please address enquiries and 300-word proposals to jkagner@olemiss.edu and pollackh@cofc.edu by 12.15.18.

April 14, 2018

Sarah Gilbreath Ford is the winner of the 2017 Phoenix award, given by the Eudora Welty Society for distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions to Welty studies.

February 20, 2018

Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Mortimer have edited a collection of essays with the University Press of Mississippi entitled Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twentieth-First-Century Approaches.

November 8, 2017

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivered the second annual Eudora Welty Lecture at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C.

October 20, 2018

Salman Rushdie gave the inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture at the Washington National Cathedral. The event was sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library.


June 6, 2016

Harriet Pollack has a new book on Welty out with University of Georgia Press entitled Eudora Welty’s Fiction and Photography: The Body of the Other Woman.

April 7, 2016

Julia Eichelberger has been the named the winner of the 2016 Phoenix Award, given by the Eudora Welty Society for outstanding service to Welty studies.